Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Udi's loving Colorado...

I'm a huge Udi's Gluten Free fan and have been since first bite. Any bagel that can make me feel like I'm cheating and eating a "normal" bagel deserves this love and adoration.
Udi's is showing the gluten free community love and really expanding their reach and presence in the market. It's really exciting to know that I can walk into so many mainstream stores and find a safe and tasty option while traveling in ski country. Safeway even took this a step further and is now carrying Udi's unfrozen. That's right, I can walk into Safeway on my next trip to Frisco, grab a loaf a bread and have a sandwich before you can say peanut butter and jelly.
Being glutard sure makes me appreciate the small conveniences in life... now I wonder if City Market will follow suit?
Speaking of travels through Colorado, I'm headed to Denver for work this weekend, I'm going to be near a Whole Foods and a PF Chang's and while I'd be happy with PF Chang every night for dinner my friends may not be. Any other suggestions for Gluten Free dining in LoDo or the Cherry Creek area?

Monday, June 28, 2010

gluten free, dairy free ice cream

Last week I felt like it was my birthday when Udi's sent me a box of goodies to try. I've been enjoying Chocolate Muffins for breakfast and took the 4-pack of  bagels to Merle's Brown Bag to try to win Shawn over. (How can you not LOVE a gluten free bagel that tastes good un-toasted? Great for breakfast and lunch. I've really been digging my Udi's with Merle's bacon, turkey, mayo, pickles and onion... I may have to grab one for lunch tomorrow)

Tonight I'm making gf, df ice cream for my real birthday and it's gonna be so good that Ben and Jerry will be jealous... plus it matches the kitchen aid mixer that was my big birthday present two years ago. I found my base here and devised my own mix ins... the Udi's Chocolate muffin and coconut flakes. yum. I was pretty inspired by Marlow's tweets and blog post about her ice cream adventures and it spurred me to motivate and make my creation.

Waiting for the strawberries to defrost was painful so I cut the muffin into little pieces and put it in the freezer to chill out.

The strawberries had become soft enough and I used the immersion blender on them and then mixed with the coconut milk, vanilla and agave nectar before pouring into the ice cream maker.

After 30 minutes I spooned it into a container and mixed in the coconut flakes and my last chocolate Udi's Muffin. I still had ice cream leftover so grabbed some homemade gluten free frozen cookie dough and chopped that up for the second container.
Now I'm working on my patience and letting the ice cream set up overnight... this may cause me to eat ice cream for breakfast...

Thursday, June 24, 2010

A bit of local love... Honga's Lotus Petal

Honga's Lotus Petal here in Telluride is revered for their fresh food, mojitos but most of all their sushi. It's not a place I've gone often since I'm not a fish fan. They do make a killer mojito and muddle a lot of limes each summer as a result.

I had a dinner with a large group and was a smart glutard. I knew that a big group with some loud personalities would present a challenge so I emailed in a few days before the event and let them know about myself and asked for some recommendations. The manager replied with some suggestions from their menu that would be safe for me. I was a pretty happy glutard who became elated when the server came over and asked for me. She then presented me with the list from the manager in case I hadn't brought it with me. I still made sure to say gluten free when I placed my order but the whole experience made me feel very safe.

From think outside the breadbox

The table shared some edamame for a starter then I had the Thai Basil with Beef and while it was on the pricier side it was well worth it. The whole group enjoyed the experience and their meals. The sushi always looks beautiful even to a non-sushi person.  Honga's has a great atmosphere for a nice night out on the town.

Monday, June 14, 2010

A bit of local love.... Merle's Brown Bag

I'm making more of an effort to eat out. I know, for the last few years with the changes in the economy every one's been eating in to save money but now it's time to share some gluten free gem's from my backyard.

I've always loved a good sandwich shop and was sad to leave D'Ellies when I moved from Maine in 2006. They fed me homemade (gluten-filled) anadama bread, pesto mayo,carrots, turkey, onion, hots, cheese and cucumber with a huge homemade pickle on the side. D'Ellies taught me to love shredded carrots on a turkey sandwich. It was a short walk from my old office and I visited many times each week. They knew my standard better then I did.

In Telluride I fell in love with Merle's Brown Bag and the Shmoo, ciabatta roll, chicken, roast beef, bacon, onion and lettuce with mayo and balsamic. I gave it up when I went gluten free but didn't have to quit Merle's. They carry gluten free bread and while they mostly use Kinnikinnick bread they did have Udi's in stock for me to try one day. I have to admit it's hard to go back to another bread after Udi's so this weekend I took in an un-toasted Udi's Bagel for them to make my lunch on, it was also my first foray into un-toasted Udi's bagels.

From think outside the breadbox

It was love at first bite... then I remembered that I needed to share so I whipped out my Droid and snapped a quick shot of this Merle's Creation with mayo, turkey, roast beef, bacon, onion and pickles.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Chocolate Whoopie Pies

Now that's I've dialed in the Strawberry Whoopie Pies I took a step back to revisit the Chocolate Whoopie Pies. I love the strawberry but they tend be very moist and don't store as well. Our good friend who moved to Telluride with us was also headed back to Maine for the summer so these were made for his going away dinner.
From think outside the breadbox

Chocolate Whoopie Pies (1/2 batch, 10 small pies)
1.25 cups Gluten Free Flour, Artisan Blend
.5 teaspoon of each- Xantham gum, Salt and Baking SODA
3 Tablespoons Cocoa Powder
Combine and set aside

In a separate bowl mix .25 cup of butter (Nature's Balance for me!)

.5cup of sugar when it's blended add 1 large egg, .5 cup milk (soy for this batch) and .5 teaspoon vanilla
Then combine with dry and chill while the oven preheats to 375. Spoon into small piles (about a tablesoon and a half) and bake for 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. You may want to check after 10 minutes as I'm working at 9,000 feet above sea level and it may increase my baking time.

The chocolate pies needed less flour as there was less mosture. I did try a batch with more flour but the density was better on the batch with less. Although I can now make frosting I did use a can to save time.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Gluten Free Beers in Telluride

Although I live in a small town I was very fortunate to have some local stores carry Gluten Free Beers. I've had good luck finding Redbridge, Green's and New Grist. I was elated to find not one but two new flavors to sample Bard's and New Planet. Dave texted me this photo and I was blown away, so much shelf space for glutarded beers!

From think outside the breadbox

New Planet is brewed here in Colorado so I was hoping it would make it from Boulder down to the southwest corner of the state. It's only recently hit shelves anywhere so I was even more shocked to see it here in town. Bard's isn't new but I've only had it once before and my local stores hadn't been able to get it for a while. Colorado only sells 3.2% beer in supermarkets so liquor stores are the way to go here and thankfully there are some good options Telluride. Lately Redbridge has been out of stock and it seems like there may be a distributor issue- has this happened to anyone else?

To be fair I pulled out some Telluride Blues and Brews (Gluten Filled Beer Festival) tasting glasses and enlisted Dave's help. He poured a sample of each so I could taste without knowing which brew I was trying. I also grabbed a small bowl of Glutino's GF Pretzels to compliment my tasting experience. Plus my favorite water bottle because hydration is key to living at 9,000 feet above sea level. I felt like I was having a GF Beerfest in my own kitchen.

The black glass had a bit more of a bitter aftertaste while the green glass was smoother. I should have made more notes but like a kid on Christmas morning I flicked on the camera to see which he had poured into each glass.

Bard's was in the Black glass while New Planet was in the green glass.
I'd have to say that for the summer season my winner is New Planet, I'm really excited to have so many options and may try for a rotation, with a 6-pack of each I'm stocked for a bit as my beer fest consisted of 1 of each of the two beers.

Plus I like the cap reading on the Bard's

Cheers to Pacific Street Liquors in Telluride for having Green's, New Planet, Bard's and New Grist all at the same time! They've also been helping me sort through my wine issue and carrying lots of organic and sulfite free wines including the Orleans Hill.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Festivals, Movies and Eating Good in the Neighborhood?

I'm pretty far behind on blogging and it's for a few reasons. First Telluride has finally sprung from late winter into early summer and we've been playing outside with the puppy monsters a lot. Along with that comes the start up of the summer season. We have a free gondola that runs in the summer from Memorial Day to Late October and it brings in lots of visitors to our tiny historic mining town. Telluride also has a plethora of festival and events for the summer as well.

Last week brought my favorite, Mountainfilm Festival. It's a weekend long event with incredible programs all weekend long. I saw 7 movie blocks in four days and enjoyed everything from climbing films to movies on Everest and documentaries. I also saw my hero, Ed Viesturs, the first American to climb all of the world's 8,000 meter peaks without bottled oxygen give a few talks as well. We listened to his book, No Shortcuts to the Top on a cross country drive and it's been a favorite on my ipod ever since.

It's a big weekend and is always and inspiration. I'm not into fishing but loved the latest from Felt Soul Media film Eastern Rises (love all their stuff), was blown away with the composure of Alex in Alone on the Wall (I freak out on a small boulder) and enjoyed watching a young man come into his own during The Edge of Never. I saw a lot from Sender Films and hope to catch more as they air on Nat Geo tv. Mountainfilm goes on tour and if it comes near you I'd highly recommend it.
I delayed my viewing of the Sex in the City 2 premier due to Mountainfilm as climbing and adventure films mean more to me then Manolos. I'm more of a Patagucci(Patagonia) then Gucci person. Last night I went as part of a big group of girls in a limo to Montrose as it hasn't made it to our tiny mountain town yet. After the film we hit up Applebee's as they were open late. I've never heard or read much from the gluten free community on Applebee's and last night I found out why.
I have to give our server credit as it was a table of 12 ladies. This did cause me a bit of panic as I know as a glutard it's always best to have good communication with the server about my needs and there isn't much attention to be found in a group of 12. I asked the server if she had any GF recommendations. She gave an eye roll and a sigh of disdain and produced this card:

From think outside the breadbox

I had some panic but since I'm lucky enough to not be super sensitive I decided to risk it. I had made a good choice and eaten a small afternoon meal before the trip so I wouldn't have to worry about being starved and making bad choices. I chose a 1/2 sized Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad and was sure to state no croutons.

From think outside the breadbox

My salad was fine and I had no reactions. I can't say I'd ever go back as I didn't feel safe and my health isn't worth the risk. There are enough places who actually care enough to let me know if something is really gluten free so that I don't feel the need to go to a place who really doesn't care about my health. I was appalled at how much dressing covered the salad. I've never been a huge lettuce fan but this was excessive even by my standards. I think I'll stay out of this neighborhood...